October 2010

When do you set up or contribute to an emergency fund?

Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Investment Information

It is pretty much investing convention that a household should ideally set up an emergency fund of 3-6 months of fixed expenses. The question that rarely gets asked is when do you set up the emergency fund? Or, when do we pay down debt or build or augment an emergency fund? “As soon as possible” [...]

Tough times for insurance companies part 2

Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Misc.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is a new accounting standard coming into force in January 2011 (except for the U.S.; think of IFRS as the metric system of measurement for accountants; it works for everyone but the Americans). Only geeky accounting folk are excited about the introduction of IFRS. But for investors, it may have [...]

When do you buy? When do you rent?

Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Real Estate

A colleague of mine recently mentioned that their parents were ardent renters. They felt that real estate continues to be an overpriced commodity and that one would be far better off financially by renting (setting aside the emotional aspects of home ownership). My colleague’s counter argument is that in an economy geared to trying its [...]

Avoiding will planning mistakes

Posted by on October 7, 2010 in estate planning

Once upon a time, buying a wills kit from a retailer may have been a good choice. Everything goes to the spouse. If spouse predeceases you, everything goes to the surviving children. Uncle Jack and Aunt Helen are the guardians of the kids. Simple right? However, a will kit presumes the will-maker has a “traditional” [...]

The death of equities or active investing?

Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Investment Information

Headlines are much larger than the rest of the story for a reason. In many instances, our attention spans are too short to read anything but the headline. However, the true story seems to unfold beyond the headline. For example, when the Investment Company Institute reports quarter after quarter net outflows from equity funds, the [...]

Should you buy high-yield bonds?

Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Investment Products

The longer the I write this blog, the more I think personal finance is like school. When I first entered into university, if you saw a line, you typically got into it. Why? Because everyone else was in the line too! The latest line that investors seem to be getting into is high-yield bonds. Rob [...]